Mother wants second chance for son involved in police standoff

MATTAWAN, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The mother of the Mattawan man, accused of barricading himself inside his car for nearly five hours earlier this week, makes an emotional plea for leniency.

On Wednesday, SWAT teams surrounded Nick Kowal's car behind his family's store -- the Cask and Keg - on Red Arrow Highway in Mattawan.

They say he tried ramming his way out before police threw tear gas and dragged him out of the car. He had been wanted on two felony warrants out of Kalamazoo.

Newschannel 3's Julia Fello spoke to Kowal's mother, who is defending her son's actions. She's live now with the reaction.

Toyim Kim came to Newschannel 3, to set the record straight about her son, but it took an emotional turn during the interview, when asked her about the thought of her son, now facing multiple felonies and possible prison time.

"They make him do that. They're making him do. You know why? I could have talked to him. He'd come on out," Kim says.

"Why? Why? I'm a parent. Why don't they want to let me talk to him? Why?" she asks.

Kim came to Newschannel 3 to tell everyone she strongly believes her 34-year-old son, Nicholas Kowal, was paralyzed in fear when he was about to be taken into custody, for two felony warrants she was aware of: one for resisting an officer, another for fleeing and eluding police.

"He's probably terrified. There's so many policeman, cars out there. Aren't you going to do the same thing? Yeah, anybody can do that, but I didn't see that part."

Kim says she was taken across the street as the nearly five-hour standoff unfolded. Police say they spoke to Kowal through his car's On-Star System, up until he attempted to ram police cars in a failed attempt to escape. He eventually surrendered when SWAT teams deployed tear gas.

"None of that would have happened [if police] let me talk to him," Kim says. "They don't want to let me talk to him. Other than that, nothing happened. He's a good kid. I mean he's charming, nice to everybody. Everybody knows him."

Her son was arraigned on his warrants this week and police plan to seek felony charges of malicious destruction of property and felonious assault of a police officer, following the standoff.

Kim says she wants West Michigan to know her son deserves a second chance.

"What are you going to do, judge? Please forgive him. Give him a chance and let him grow a little bit. He just graduated college, give him a break."

Kim says her son just graduated this spring from Western Michigan University with a computer engineering degree and has a bright future.

For now he remains behind bars and she has hired a defense attorney for her son's case.